State Of The State Budget

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Governor Joe Manchin's budget proposal got a cautious welcome from lawmakers Wednesday night.

Manchin is proposing a $4.1 billion budget, which includes a number of new spending items, including raises for teachers and other public employees.

The chairmen of the powerful House and Senate finance committees said they liked the overall approach to the budget, but want to look at the specific proposals in greater detail.

Pocahontas County Democrat Walt Helmick said the Legislature wants to be able to spend money on things like raises, but needs to make sure that's financially viable first.

The governor's proposal also seeks to persuade the Legislature to sell off West Virginia's rights to future tobacco settlement payments.

Bonds would be issued for the tobacco money and the proceeds would be used to pay down debt on various funds, like the one for workers' compensation costs.

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